OSU to adopt Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship

The Western Undergraduate Exchange is a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Recipients of the WUE tuition rate pay 150% of resident tuition plus any required student fees.

Jeremiah Estrada, News Contributor

Starting in Fall 2021, Oregon State University will begin to offer an additional scholarship opportunity, the Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship, to first-year and transfer students of the Corvallis and Bend campuses.

While the university currently offers a range of scholarships for both resident and non-resident OSU undergraduates, newly-admitted students will now be able to get a WUE scholarship next school year.

OSU began to explore the idea of participating in the Western Undergraduate Exchange last spring. This decision was made because this program is very popular and well-known throughout the western states.. 

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WUE will not be replacing any existing scholarship programs, as it will be offered along with those other awards. There are hopes that prospective students who are not already familiar with OSU will take a closer look at the university when they see that this program is being offered.

“Our lack of participation was a turn off to some students who were looking for the sort of affordability that WUE can provide,” Director of Admissions at OSU, Noah Buckley, said via email.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students who are residents of Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Hawaii, Idaho, Mont., Nev., N. M., N. D., S. D., Utah, Wash., Wyo., Guam and the North Mariana Islands will be automatically considered for the scholarship. The WUE program is highly competitive and will only be granted to a limited amount of students based on a holistic review of their admissions application.

“The scholarship is not automatically awarded to anyone from a western state,” Buckley said. “That’s a big misperception out there.”

Current OSU students are not eligible for the WUE scholarship being introduced. Only incoming freshmen and transfer students that are admitted for the Fall 2021 term and later will be considered for it.

“Although many institutions limit WUE eligibility to only certain academic programs, all majors are eligible for the WUE scholarship at OSU,” Director of Scholarships at OSU, Colleen Conniff, said via email.

The WUE scholarship may be renewed for up to four years total if the student maintains good academic standing.

The difference between this scholarship and other OSU scholarship programs is that the value WUE will have varies depending on the number of credits a student takes each term. 

“For example, for a student who takes 12 credits per term for three terms, the WUE Scholarship would have a value of approximately $12,000, but for a student who takes 15 credits per term for three terms, the value would increase to about $15,000,” Conniff said.

The more credits a student takes in a term, the larger the scholarship. That is due to how WUE reduces the student’s base tuition cost to 150% of base resident tuition.

“So, our participation in WUE is, in part, about being able to say ‘yes, we have WUE’ so that students give us a shot and look further into what we have to offer here,” Buckley said.